Disinfo: Ukrainian language law prohibits use of Russian, Hungarian, Romanian languages


This law is not about protecting the Ukrainian languages, but about prohibiting Russian language, and at the same time Hungarian, Romanian and other minority languages. This law divided the population, as was the intention of previous authorities.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukrainian language law.

The Verkhovna Rada passed, on April 25, the law "on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language". The law establishes mandatory use of the Ukrainian language in most areas of public and communal life, including the mass media, education, science, etc.

However, the law does not forbid the use of Russian or other languages in private communication and religious ceremonies.  Moreover, Russian and other languages can be present in book publishing, the press, including radio and television, education and the service sector. The law allows the use of other languages in the healthcare system and in law enforcement.

In addition to this, the law stipulates that in accordance with the European Charter for Regional Languages and Languages of National Minorities, the government should develop a law safeguarding language-rights of the minorities within six months of the language law entering into force.

Similar disinformation cases are here and here.



  • Reported in: Issue 154
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Russian language


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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